A Note from Aline

When your children look at you, what do they see?

As the parent of two college students and the stepmother of two in their thirties, I wonder about this question more often than I used to: when my children look at me, what do they see?  I realize that I should have asked this more often when my children were younger along with all of this...

Am I patient enough?
Am I too often distracted when I am with them?
Do I snuggle when they ask?
Do they know how much their father and I love each other?
Do they know how much I love them?
Am I gentle enough?
Am I strong enough?
When I do things for them, do I do it for myself as well and is that ok?
Does my work enhance how they know me or does it get in the way?
Am I showing them what I believe in?
Do they see me act on what I believe in?
Am I paying attention to what matters?
Do they know what matters?
Do I say ‘no’ often enough?
Do I say ‘no’ too often?
Am I putting myself in their shoes to understand why they are behaving as they are?
Am I letting them become who they are inside and who they have the potential to be, or am I trying to make them who I want them to be?
How much is too much pressure to try harder in everything they do?
Am I listening, really listening, to them?
Do I see them for all of who they are and are becoming?
I try to be mindful now. Was I mindful then?

I do the best I can as a parent, I tell myself, and I know I can do better.

I wish you fulfilling days with your children and your families and your friends this winter break.
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